Tips for a Successful Yard Sale

There’s something profoundly timeless about a yard sale that the advent of eBay and Craigslist can’t take away. The lure of not knowing what you’ll find. The thrill of playing amateur salesperson. Yard sales can be a great way to get rid of unwanted clutter in one shot, but it’s important to have a solid plan going in. Keep reading to find out how to throw a successful yard sale and turn your clutter into cash.

Yard Sale

Getting Ready

When choosing a date and time to throw a yard sale, consider what conditions will draw the most shoppers. Early fall and late spring are ideal times of the year, as most people prefer to stay indoors when it’s too humid or cold outside. Location is also an import factor – if you live in a rural area, chances are you’ll be sitting in your yard by yourself all day twiddling your thumbs. Instead, go where the people are. Ask a friend or relative who lives in a more populated area if you can throw your yard sale at their home.

Spreading the Word

It’s going to take more than a yard sale sign to draw the big crowds. Use multiple outlets, such as Craigslist and Yard Sale Search, which are free and offer a generous word count for you to type up a description of some of your key items, along with when and where your sale will be. Investing in a newspaper ad is also a good idea. You should run the ads a few days before the sale to give shoppers enough time to plan ahead.

Setting Up

Have everything ready the day before. Items should be organized (clothes with clothes, books with books, etc.) and priced out. For pricing, use 25 cent increments so that quarters will be the only change you need. And don’t price too high – although people generally do like to haggle at yard sales, if items are priced too high they’ll simply walk away. Be sure to have your tables and table clothes ready, along with a cash box to collect money and give change.

During the Sale

When it comes to yard sales, good salesmanship doesn’t involve accosting shoppers or putting them in a pressure cooker to buy. Rather, simply remain seated and give a friendly greeting to anyone who walks up. It’s best to let shoppers browse without feeling pressured. Let them come to you if they have questions or are interested in buying something. Save the haggling for the last day or in the afternoon when the morning rush is over. There are plenty of ways to negotiate pricing during a yard sale, but it’s better to wait for someone who’s willing to pay the asking price.


Any leftovers can be sold online via EBay, Amazon, or Craigslist. You can also save money on your taxes by taking leftovers to a Goodwill store. Make an itemized list of everything you donate with its original value. After you drop it off at a donation center, ask for a receipt. You can use this for a tax deduction on your income taxes.

Yard sales can be a lot of work, more so if you don’t have a good plan to follow from beginning to end, but there are few things more rewarding than getting rid of unwanted clutter and replacing it with cash!

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